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12 Jun, 2011

UNESCO, Spanish Soccer Club Team Up To ‘Imagine Peace’

Model UN Students Hope To Focus Global Attention On Crucial Issues

Public-Private Partnerships Sought To Bring Affordable Clean Energy To Poor

UNESCO And Spanish Soccer Club Team Up To ‘Imagine Peace’

UN Unveils Three Initiatives To Promote Biodiversity In Fashion

Model UN Students Hope To Focus Global Attention On Crucial Issues

Jun 10 2011 — An upcoming model United Nations meeting in Incheon, Republic of Korea, can help contribute to the debate on key world issues, one of the student leaders at the event told a news conference today at UN Headquarters.

Oliver Pase of Australia, who will assume the role of Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information for the meeting on 10-14 August, said the 600 student delegates – drawn from 53 UN Member States – will “actually contribute to the broader debate around the world on crucial issues.”

The theme of this year’s meeting, the third in a series that were held previously in Geneva and Kuala Lumpur, will be “Sustainable Development: Advancing Human Progress in Harmony with Nature.” It will also include consideration of a wide variety of the same issues that face actual UN committees.

Dongyeop Lee of the Republic of Korea, who will serve as the Model UN’s General Assembly President, said “as students our capabilities are small,” but that public attention to the focus of the debate could make “a huge difference.”

Underlining the sustainable development theme for the meeting, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the student delegates in a message to be delivered at the opening day: “The ecosystems and resources you will inherit have been subjected to unprecedented stress and exploitation. Different countries and societies have made very different contributions to this state of affairs, but all should be able to agree that it is unsustainable – and we need to find a more balanced and sustainable approach.”

The actual Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka, who presided over the press conference today, said: “It is our hope that participation in the Global Model UN conference will inspire young people to become ambassadors, to work for the UN or become the experts and leaders that we in the UN look to…”

This year’s conference is organized by the UN Department of Public Information (DPI), and supported by World Federation of UN Associations (WFUNA), the UN Foundation (UNF) and the UN Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP).

Public-Private Partnerships Sought To Bring Affordable Clean Energy To Poor

Jun 2 2011 The estimated 2.5 billion people across the world who do not have access to reliable electricity supplies can benefit from clean and renewable energy generated through partnerships between governments and the private sector, the United Nations said today.

A report by UN-Energy, an umbrella body of UN agencies working on sustainable development and their business partners, in conjunction with leading electricity companies and other partners launched outlines the conditions necessary for successful public-private partnerships (PPP) on electricity.

According to the report, choosing electricity-generating technology appropriate to local conditions is key to the success of such projects, as well as national energy-development goals and plans which have strong long-term policies enshrined in legislation, and assured cost recovery and profit potential for investors in low-carbon technologies.

Sufficient funding for research, development and deployment of emerging clean-electricity technologies and measures to maximize benefits to communities from new and expanded electrification are the other measures outlines in the report.

The report also stresses the importance of measures to enhance the private sector’s ability to provide capital through various financing alternatives for electricity projects and to design, construct, operate and maintain them. There has to be strong relationships between the public and private sectors and other stakeholders as well, according to the report.

Power purchase agreements should also be in place to offer the private sector the greatest certainty for long-term investments, the report notes.

The report was launched as the UN General Assembly convened a one-day thematic debate on the green economy

“Where sustainable development is the destination, green economy offers a pathway,” said Joseph Deiss, the General Assembly President. “This debate aims to strengthen the understanding of green economy and of what the international community, each Member State and local communities can do to transition to green economy.”

A “green economy” in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication is one of the central themes of next year’s Fourth UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, which will be held in the Brazilian city in June 2012.

The report highlights electricity projects developed through PPP in Argentina which will provide power to small rural communities.

An 86-kilowatt hydroelectric station in Argentina’s Patagonia region will provide power to the tiny rural community of Cochico, while a wind and diesel hybrid system of the same size will supply the isolated village of Chorriaca. Both communities currently make do with inadequate and polluting diesel generators that operate sporadically.

The new electricity sources are the result of cooperative efforts between the communities, Patagonia’s provincial Government and members of the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership, a non-profit organization created by several of the world’s largest utilities to promote sustainable energy development in developing and emerging nations.

“Private and public sector collaboration can bring clean, reliable electricity to those without it,” said Michael Morris, the chief executive officer of American Electric Power and this year’s chair of the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (formerly known as the e8).

“By the end of 2011, we will have met with energy and finance ministers from more than 50 countries and worked on policy changes they want to make to become more attractive to investors in electricity projects.

“Strong synergies can result when power technologies that emit few or zero greenhouse gases are coupled with enabling public policies and financing. In addition to improving the lives and environment of people by supplying them with non-polluting electricity, the projects will also stimulate the growth of jobs in manufacturing and services,” Mr. Morris added.

UNESCO And Spanish Soccer Club Team Up To ‘Imagine Peace’

Jun 1 2011 — The top-level Spanish football team Málaga will sport the logo of the United Nations cultural organization as part of an “Imagining Peace” campaign that will also include Internet and social media messages aimed largely at youth, under an agreement signed today.

The four-year agreement “requires UNESCO (the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization) and Málaga Football Club to mobilize their networks and communities to promote initiatives in favour of intercultural dialogue, education, the fight against doping and against racism,” UNESCO said.

“The alliance is rooted in the will to promote the values and objectives of healthy, doping-free sport and to help create a society unfettered by racism and discrimination,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova at a signing ceremony in the southern Spanish city. “We must imagine peace and make it become reality.”

Club president Sheikh Abdullah al-Thani said: “Our joint purpose is to use the values of sport to educate grown-ups and the young and this is one of the main reasons for our association. The training of young athletes must not be limited to the development of individual, or group, technical skills, it must also draw on the values inherent to sport, such as the will to excel, camaraderie and respect.”

The UN agency and Málaga, which competes in Spain’s top-flight La Liga, “will share their resources so as to inspire young people with a new understanding of peace,” UNESCO said. “The Internet and social media will be used to promote UNESCO values concerning intercultural dialogue and the importance of education.”

“The agreement also aims to contribute to the creation of an environment free of racism where girls and boys enjoy the same opportunities; to help foster a social conscience among the young using the information tools that are theirs, i.e. the Internet and its social networks; and to implement the principles that underpin UNESCO’s Convention Against Doping in Sport.”

The agency added that Málaga’s training centre of about 500 young players will serve as a practical laboratory for the agreement.

UN Unveils Three Initiatives To Promote Biodiversity In Fashion

Jun 1 2011 — The United Nations trade and development body today announced three initiatives to encourage biodiversity in the world’s fashion industries.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will support competitions in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands aimed at encouraging the use of recycled or natural materials in fashion, and will work with a design group in Spain to further research biodiversity in clothing design and manufacture, according to an UNCTAD press statement.

UNCTAD and the Fashioning the Future Awards campaign in London have announced an annual award category which seeks to encourage young designers “to pursue environmentally sustainable fashion design.”

The agency said it is also will support the Green Fashion Competition of the Amsterdam International Fashion Week to identify “talented entrepreneurs in the industry who aim to create fashion businesses that sustain biodiversity.”

In Madrid, UNCTAD is collaborating with the Coknit Connect of the European Institute of Design to support a research and experimentation project that “seeks to provide a sound basis for design students to use materials in innovative ways and in collaboration with clothing companies.”

“It is expected that the project will result in the creation of limited series of appealing, trend-conscious fashion products made from recovered and/or recycled clothing and fabrics,” the agency said.

“The fashion industry can play a significant role in conserving biodiversity through innovation and new ideas. The industry makes extensive use of raw materials derived from biodiversity, such as natural fabrics and animal skins.”